How to Pick the Best Storage Unit for You

 

Moving? Renovating? Joining forces with someone else?

It’s fair to say that there are some occasions in all of our lives where the excitement and anticipation reach fever pitch.

If we’re lucky, those moments can be life-enhancing. They can be filled with joy. They can be momentous.

Other times, depending on the circumstances, those moments can be fraught with stress or tinged with sadness.

But, regardless of the circumstances, there comes a time in the middle of a move or a renovation when an unnerving reality begins to take hold.

Apart from the hustle and bustle of actually moving, a sudden reality can slowly kick in …

Your stuff.

All of that stuff!

Just what are you going to do with your stuff?

Storing Your Stuff

Here at Nesta Storage, we know how stressful any move can be.

Apart from the incredible volume of your possessions.

There is only so much room, after all. And, you may think that limited space can put an intolerable limit on what you can and can not keep.

That scrapbook you have since years of holding a special place in your heart. And what about that bike you had when you were only learning how to cycle?

Or the corner cabinet the in-laws buy that has never been a favorite of yours?

Wait. Hang on … This could actually work out in your favor!

The good news is, the possessions that you’ve been gathering for a lifetime, do not have to be thrown away. You do not have to be with your most loved, prized possessions at all.

You can store them away instead.

In this article, we’re going to talk all about self-storage units.

And, more importantly, we are going to give you advice on how to pick the best storage unit for you.

Ready to get going?

Brilliant. Let’s do this!

How to Pick the Best Storage Unit for You

Before you choose to go with a particular storage unit, there is a number of factors that you will want to take into consideration ahead of time.

1. Do Your Homework
Before you opt to put your possessions into any storage unit, you’ve got to make sure you’re picking up the storage unit you picked.

Finding the perfect storage unit is like finding a babysitter you can depend on. You would not trust the care of your children with just anyone, would you? The same goes for your most loved possessions.

Doing your homework first is a good place to start.

When you’re looking at storage units, here are some things you will definitely want to consider.

Location

A lot of people consider the location to be one of the most important factors in the decision-making process. But, often, this can actually be a costly mistake.

There is no quicker way to store your precious memories away in a sub-par storage unit, than when you choose to go with the one that is closest to your home – purely because that unit is closest to your home.

Of course, you will want a storage unit that is not a million miles away, but, you will not want to compromise on quality to get one.

Give yourself options and make sure that your storage unit company is a very reputable one before you sign on the dotted line.

Previous / Current Customers and Reviews

Before you choose a storage unit, check out what other customers have to say, not only about the storage units but about the people behind the storage units.

Some important things to consider here include the following:

What kind of testimonials are available?
What have the current and previous customers got to say?
Is there a recurrent theme?
What is your experience with the company like?
Was the experience with the storage unit a positive one?

Reasons to Visit Transylvania in Motorcycles

Reasons to Visit Transylvania in Motorcycles

Transylvania is really an area located in the central part of Romania, Eastern Europe. This is the land through the forest (from latin trans = crossing; silva = forest). The name itself implies that the land is immensely engrossed in beautiful valleys, hill-tops, forests and mountains – some of which use their riders and motorcycles for three rows that appreciate it all with stunning views.
All this sounds good, however, nothing is more exciting than the way to get there: Reasons to Visit Transylvania in Motorcycles

Transfagarasan Street

Connecting Muntenia (southern Romania) to Transylvania, crossing Mount Fagaras, the Transfagarasan Road journey brings motorcyclists as much as 2,042 m in altitude on perfect tarmac ribbon, built similar to a race track, a Mecca for motorcycles. Today’s rider It has been built throughout the communist regime (1970-1974) under dictator Nicolae Ceausescu to lighten the access of troops. Due to the height of open roads only 3-4 months / year, generally from 15 June to 31 October, is highly dependent around Climate conditions. In the summer the streets are usually crowded, using peaks on weekends.

The riders must begin their journey from south to north (from Curtea de Arges to Cartisoara), by doing this, the scenery of the entire path ahead will be thrilling. Also they need to start riding each morning (around 08:00). By doing this they will lose the crowds and then really get a unique street feel with bends to last a lifetime. Caution also needs to be forwarded to the gas tank because there is no gas tank about this road, the rider must charge before starting the journey.

2. Transalpina Highway – referred to as Kings Road, connecting the city of Sugag in Transylvania with Novaci, crossing the Parang Mountains inside the central Carpathians. Using the highest peak at 2145m at Urdele Pass, the road takes the rider toward the clouds on the way to keep in mind. Pine forests, traditional sheepfolds where readers are offered standard “balmos” (food cooked from sheep grazing), beautiful scenery and lots of curves and hairpins. Just like Transfagarasan Road, it is better to ride on Sunday or every morning to conquer the traffic. Caution also needs to be forwarded to the gas tank because there is no service station about this road, the rider must charge before starting the journey.

3. Transbucegi Road – Romania’s third highest mountain road, Transbucegi is really a narrow asphalt road that leads to the Bucegi Plateau in the Bucegi Mountains. From the plateau you walk towards the Sphinx and Babele (the famous rock formations of the wind) can be explored. The roads to the Sphinx can take up to 45 minutes. It is necessary for your rider to keep in mind that they have to walk back to the motorbike as well which will enhance the leisurely ride in nature even more time.

Recommendations: Motorists think about the scenery that can only be reached with a little walking is encouraged to carry comfortable walking shoes and also to leave motorcycle shoes that are locked around the motorcycle. Also water along with chocolate bars for energy is recommended.

4. Sunset Mountains in the Western Carpathians gives you great rides, one of them – Transursoaia Road. From DN 1 in the town of Huedin the same snake as the Black Hills along the Belis Dam and Belisului Valley to the village of Horea. 80 km of bitumen on a narrow mountain road offering some great ride, stunning scenery and traditional stops on the highway, carved in wood from the locals.

Short distortion: in the Rachitele – the Vail area of ​​the Bride Waterfall, a waterfall 30m attracts visitors from around the world.

From May to October, based on the weather. Caution is needed because there is a narrow part of the area. It is recommended to ride all day because the mountain will reward the rider with spectacular scenery.

5. History of the Rich

Transylvania has everything from a large winding road to a medieval church and a fortified medieval fortress. Historians should not miss Cluj Napoca – home of the Saint Michael Cathedral, European Youth Capital by 2015, the fortress of Sighisoara Medieval – the birthday host of “Vlad The Impaller” (also called Dracula), the medieval town of Brasov for your Black home. The church, the medieval town of Sibiu – the former European cultural capital in 2007, is in the off-road spot of Redbul Romaniacs, Reasons to Visit Transylvania in Motorcycles

A Time Line To Create Wealth

A Time Line To Create Wealth

PALOS VERDES, CA- Our investment philosophy is based on an individual’s chronological time line, which consists of three periods: (1) asset accumulation, (2) wealth building, and (3) asset conservation and how they are used to create wealth
The Playing Field is not level

 

The financial journey through life’s time line starts at different levels, depending on whether you were born with a plastic or a silver spoon in your mouth. As you travel through your time line, your in-vestment options change. Knowing where you are and what options are available will help you make the right choices.

A Winning Financial Plan up to Age 35

The first chronological period of your life—mid-twenties to mid-thirties—should be devoted to accumulating assets and acquiring basic necessities. When you’re just starting out, your assets are usually limited and the major portion of your income goes for the basic needs—food, clothing, and shelter.

This is the time to save, save, save! Amass as many investment dollars as possible. Your approach to investing during this period should be through tax-deferred plans at work or Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). Your degree of risk should be moderate. Investments included in this category are high quality corporate bonds, blue chip stocks, and growth-oriented no-load mutual funds.

Every effort should be made to purchase a home now. The advantages, from tax savings and equity buildup, historically outweigh the short-term benefits of lower monthly rent payments.

Be careful when sheltering yourself and your family from liability. Only pay for protection when you’re purchasing life insurance. Purchase whole life insurance if it will yield a higher rate of return than other investments. After reading the chapter on asset protection, you might seriously consider reducing your liability coverage.

Remember, your main financial goal during this time is tax-deferred accumulation of capital. Don’t take risks with your investments. Save as much as you can so that when you enter the next phase of the time line you’ll be ready to move forward.

Investing between the Ages of 35 and 50

After earnings have increased, assets have been accumulated, and necessities are under control, it’s time to move on. Ready or not, you must face the challenges during this aggressive investment period of your life, when you are between your mid-thirties and early fifties.

The Best Financial Plan for You

Your best financial plan is to create the maximum wealth during this aggressive investment period of your life. Build financial security yourself. Don’t rely on others to do it for you. Many people who relied on major banks and insurance companies for financial security ended up short when these institutions failed. The social security system will not do much better.

You should be careful not to over diversify your assets or adopt a “hold-back” attitude. You must concentrate your assets into one or two aggressive investments rather than spreading them out. Diversification often leads to ineffectiveness.

What if you fail during this period? What is your down side? If you consider your ability to bounce back because of your age, the political influence of your generation, taxes, and inflation, the real risk is minimized. Make your aggressive investments now. As you get older, your ability to rebound declines. If you do not try at this stage in your in-vestment time line, you probably will never do it, and more importantly, you will never know whether you could have made it.

The Best Ways to Manage Your Cloud Storage

Have you been using cloud storage in your organization?

The cloud is a great tool and has been valuable for everyone utilizing it, especially businesses and IT professionals. But those pesky “storage full” messages are not so fun.

What can you do about it?

You could pay for more storage … again? Or be forced to organize and manage your data in different cloud sources? But whose job is it to keep track of all of that?

Those are not ideal solutions.

In this article, you’re going to learn the best ways to manage your cloud storage in a way that will not make you want to pull your hair out.

How to Manage Your Cloud Storage
First, you need to get on cloud storage if you do not already use it. You can even just start out with simple apps like Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive. These are very easy to get going.

Using cloud storage will be your unusual should happen … like your hard drive crashes.

Let’s be realistic here, your hard drive will eventually crash and it always happens when you switch over to that cloud storage space.

Once you’re using cloud storage it’s helpful to make sure you do not have any duplicate files or unnecessary documents taking up space.

You just need to log into the storage application and clean up in there a bit. Again, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive are easy to navigate.

Maybe you ‘ve got storage in a few different places and you need a way to organize it all in once space.

Or you need a system to ensure your data is totally safe. Or you really need a good way to enable multiple devices to access the information in your cloud and for multiple employees to access it anytime they need it.

Hybrid cloud storage could help with this.

What is Hybrid Cloud Storage?

Hybrid cloud storage combines all in the clouds while attempting to combat with its shortcomings, like security or latency.

It puts all of your cloud storage into one place so you can easily manage and organize it. There are many options out there.

Finding the Right Management System
Are your documents stored out all over the place, still needing a central home where you know they are safe, organized, and accessible?

Maybe you’re using a storage management system that is not working out for your needs?

Try HubStor, the cloud management system of IT leaders choose and trust.

With HubStor you will see a dramatic reduction in storage and backup costs with our tiering, deduplication, and compression systems.

Compared to on-premises storage, our customers spent 76 – 87% less in storage costs.

You can egress and recover your data from our service at any time, we put you in complete control.

And you only pay for what you use.

No contracts. No cancellation fees. Zero lock-ins.

When it’s Time to Repair Your Plate Heat Exchangers

 

If you’re already using plate heat exchanges, you probably already know how critical they are for your business.

But what happens when they break? Here’s how you can know when it’s time to embark on the plate refurbishment process.

Weigh your options
If you’re in the position where your plate heat exchanger has completely broken, then the first thing you need to do is to be repaired or repaired. Whether it’s an old furnace or a commercial refrigeration unit, this is a big decision and can have a major impact on your bottom line.

First, you’ll want to know that it’s actually the plate heat exchanger that’s not working. If it’s a furnace, have you eliminated all other possible problems?

For example, there’s no point in undergoing the plate refurbishment process if it’s actually an electrical problem or a clogged filter.

Second, you want to determine the associated associated. We have a free quote service so you can get a good idea of ​​what you’re getting into nice and early if you decide to refurbish and fix rather than buy new.

Finally, you’ll want to look at the replacement unit just to compare. Contact your local dealer and browse any online commercial stores.

It is also worth looking at the used market to see if you can pick up a deal. If your unit is especially old, sometimes the best option is to buy an old unit and actually refurbish THOSE heat exchanging plates, giving you the most cost effective solution.

How old is your unit?
Whether you’re looking at second-hand units or just trying to date yours to make the best decision, you’ll probably want to know how old it is. Some of the experts will write the installation date on the unit, giving you the age.

However, if it’s not there, you can still figure it out. Just look around for any manufacturer information, serial numbers, or model numbers (so you may have to turn the unit off if you have not already).

After that, it’s just a matter of Googling the manufacturing number and seeing what comes back. If that does not work, you can always call your manufacturer’s helpline.

What can a refurbishment do?
10-20 years of use.

But what are the benefits of taking on the plate refurbishment process?

The biggest benefit of plate refurbishment instead of replacement is that it’s a cost-effective way to expand the life of your heat exchanger plate. By simply cleaning it through our exhaustive process, we can restore a shocking amount of life and viability into the tool.

Second, it means that you can put off a major new purchase. It also means that your initial investment into a quality unit is going to continue to reap dividends. Assuming the plates are not cracked (we check), after cleaning and new gaskets your unit might last anywhere from another 10-20 years.

Wrapping up
Knowing whether it is time to clean and maintain your heat exchanger plates is not easy. But if you carefully evaluate your unit, it’s age, and your own financial circumstances, you can not go wrong.

The Largest Data Breach Settlement of All Time

 

Every second, nearly 45 data records are lost or stolen.

When this happens in a business, all of their records are put at risk.

This also puts the clients’ personal information at high risk.

Not only does it create distrust between the company and its customers, it also comes with a high price tag.

Unfortunately, data breaches happen all too often.

Advocate Health Care and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services settled in what is called the largest settlement of all time.

The Largest Settlement to Date
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) settled at $ 5.5 million with Advocate Health Care.

Advocate Health Care violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

HIPAA protects personal health information from falling into the wrong hands. Health care providers are responsible for the safety of their patients’ private information.

Over 4 million patients’ personal information was stolen. This information includes their information, names, addresses and credit card numbers.

The Incidents

The exposure came after the first incident in August 2013. Four desktop computers were stolen from an Advocate Health office in Park Ridge, Illinois.

These computers contained the records of millions of local patients.

The second incident occurred in the period between June and August of 2013.

Hackers gained access to the network of billing service used by Advocate Health. This incident exposed the health records of over 2,000 patients.

On November 1, 2013, another breach occurred.

Yet another computer was stolen from a vehicle. This incident exposed 2,230 patients’ protected health information.

After Advocate reported these breaches, the HHS began an investigation.

The Findings

Laws are in place that require health providers to protect their patients’ health information.

The HHS found that Advocate Health violated these laws.

The OCR found that Advocate Health unsuccessfully:

researched the potential risks relating to the protection of protected health information
enacted policies and procedures to limit the access of electronic systems
safeguarded laptop computers that were kept in unlocked vehicles
The department found Advocate Health Care at fault for not securing a written contract from their billing subsidiary.

This written contract should have stated that it protected any electronic protected health information within its custody.

Advocate Health has responded, stating that:

“As all of the digital landscape and the impacts it has on evolution, we have enhanced our data encryption measures to prevent this type of incident from reoccurring.”

Conclusion
Advocate Health Care Network includes more than 250 treatment locations. This includes the ten hospitals and two children’s hospitals.

This makes it one of the largest healthcare providers in the state of Illinois.

Advocate Medical Group (AMG) is a branch of Advocate Health Care.

AMG provides primary care services, medical imaging, and specialty health care services.

This medical group services the greater Chicagoland area.

With new technology, data breaches are becoming more common than ever before.

Let Loose in Les Menuires: A Pub Crawl to (Hopefully) Remember

Let Loose in Les Menuires: A Pub Crawl to (Hopefully) Remember

Ski holidays aren’t just about zipping down slopes and eating fondue (although both are essential components). Equally important is the nightlife: going to bars, meeting new people and letting your hair down. In Les Menuires there are plenty of opportunities for a boogie, but with so many bars and pubs to choose from its hard to pick just one. I think it was for this very reason that pub crawls were invented. Thankfully for you, Les Menuires has a classic route. so put on your dancing shoes and get going.
Start at Crazy Bar

 

Pub crawls can often get off to a slow start… not at the Crazy Bar. As its name suggests, there is no room for slouching in this alpine pub with early happy hours starting between 4pm and 6pm. The bar is located in the La Croisette area of Les Menuires and gets very busy during happy hours as skiers and snowboarders make the most of the cut-price cocktails.

Le Tilbury

Also in the La Croisette area, Le Tilbury is a favourite destination for skiers and locals. With a pine wood interior and plenty of offers on spirits and beers, Le Tilbury is a welcome chance to have a breather after a heavy start to the crawl.

L’Oisans

L’Oisans has built a reputation for its great cocktails. With plenty of classics as well as cocktails you won’t have seen anywhere else, you are bound to find one you like. If cocktails are not your thing, there is also a great selection of international beers to choose from. Located in La Croisette, it is easy to find and hard to go wrong.

Le Leeberty

Leeberty, égalité, fraternité, right? In the spirit of La France get in a round of jaegerbombs and report to the dance floor. Le Leeberty is best enjoyed later on in the bar crawl when it gets busy and everyone is in the party mood. Playing Euro pop hits, the great selection of DJs and high-quality sound system is bound to get you moving. You can find Le Leeberty in Les Bruyeres, just down the road from the other bars. The trip is definitely worth the effort.

Finish at Piano Bar Le Kube

A cosy little bar until 10pm, Le Kube is frequented by skiers looking for a less busy après scene. After 10pm, however, the atmosphere changes with live music and DJ sets bringing partygoing crowds flooding in. One the swankiest bars in the La Croisette area, it’s a great place to finish off your night with and sing and dance, and maybe even a kiss if you’re lucky.

Have Fun and Stay Protected

With all that fun on and off the slopes, it’s always worth investing in winter sports travel insurance. Whether you overstretch yourself on the skis or in the bars – we have all done both, let’s be honest – winter sports travel insurance will keep you covered and ease any holiday headaches. At InsureMore we offer comprehensive low-cost travel insurance with single and multi-trip options. So don’t fret when you are on holiday, go out and have fun – we’ve got you covered.

Heliskiing in Courmayeur: for a True Off Piste Experience

Heliskiing in Courmayeur: for a True Off Piste Experience

If you dream of making tracks through virgin powder fields and previously unmarked mountainsides, then heliskiing is definitely something you should consider.
Imagine climbing on board a helicopter in the heart of your resort and being flown deep into the Alps, away from the lifts and other people, and then being dropped off on deserted peaks to make your way down. If this sounds like you, then you need to book a heliskiing excursion as part of your next winter sports holiday.

 

Heliskiing Courmayeur

Unfortunately heliskiing is not available throughout much of the Alps: France and Germany have both banned the activity to reduce helicopter activity in the area. The good news is that in Italy there are no such restrictions. So if you dream of descending a blank canvas of snow down the south face of Mont Blanc, you can make that dream a reality from the picturesque Italian resort of Courmayeur.

Don’t be put off if this Mont Blanc adventure sounds a little too high octane for your first time heliskiing; Courmayeur also offers more gentle opportunities across a wide variety of non-glacial terrain, which greatly reduces any risks.

Many companies in the area offer everything from a full day (including two flights) to weekend or even week long adventure in heliskiing. Courmayeur is the perfect base for the sport as helicopters can land right in the centre of the piste area. That way, after your adrenaline-pumping experience, you can stop off for a hot wine at one of the resort’s beautiful mountainside restaurants before heading back to your accommodation.

What You’ll Need

Obviously to try this you’ll need a basic level of expertise. The ideal time for heliskiing is from January through to May, with the conditions in winter being tougher thanks to the larger volume of fresh powder. It is therefore advised that those taking part during the winter need experience of skiing in deep powder.

For those trying it in the spring snow, expertise in deep powder is not so important although, as with any skiing or snowboarding, you will still need a relatively good level of fitness.

Equipment you will need includes: wide skis, good bindings, skiwear suitable to the conditions (including special ski gloves), hat or helmet, goggles or sunglasses.

How to Get To There

If this has whet your appetite for heliskiing, Courmayeur couldn’t be easier to reach. There are regular flights from the UK to nearby Turin or Geneva airports with airlines including BA, Ryanair, easyJet and Swiss International.

Book an airport transfer with Shuttle Direct and just an hour and a half after touching down you could be strapping on your skis in Courmayeur. Just let us know when you book online what ski equipment you will be carrying and we’ll transport it to the resort for you at no extra charge.

Planning to Build a Start Up Choosing the Right Business Partner

Planning to Build a Start Up Choosing the Right Business Partner

Find your business partner this way
Becoming an entrepreneur becomes an option for many people, because it is believed that this can be promised financial freedom as well as freedom of time with family. More and more employees flocked to resign from where they work to establish a new business with brilliant ideas.

But sometimes many people are too hasty to make a decision to establish a business, so eventually have to folded. According to research conducted by John L. Nesheim written in his book entitled High Tech Start Up The Complete Handbook for Successful Creating New High Tech Company, possibly only 6 out of 1 million ideas for high tech business that ultimately managed to go public.

In addition, there are various causes of start-up not last long one of which is wrong in choosing a business partner. Then how to find the right business partner?

Planning to Build a Start Up Choosing the Right Business Partner
1. Required Strong Chemistry

 

Having strong chemistry is usually necessary in choosing a life partner, as well as choosing a business partner. This does sound strange, but if in the beginning you do not click with your business partner candidate it will be difficult to proceed to the next stage.

2. Have a Vision of Mission in Line

 

Vision and mission is the forerunner of a start-up stand. Not just in business, all aspects of life require a clear mission vision. So choose a business partner who has a vision of mission in line with you, if the vision of your mission with the partner has been strong and complementary, your business will grow brilliantly.

3. See Track Record

 

Everyone has a track record whether it’s good or bad, and one way of identifying a person’s character is by looking at his track record. Not everyone who is bad in his past can not be good in the future, but if there are experienced and have a good track record why not chosen? Building a start-up requires a reliable and trustworthy partner that your business can grow exponentially.

4. Showing Commitment and Consistency

Planning to Build a Start Up Choosing the Right Business Partner

Try asking for help to your prospective business partner to help you complete the small project you are working on, before actually pioneering a joint venture. See how he works, if he shows his commitment and consistency do not hesitate to choose him as your partner.

5. Make the Black Rule Above White

 

Not enough just to see the track record and how it works? Make a letter of agreement and the rules that will be followed later in writing. Man is the wrong place, if you find your partner today is a person you really believe then suddenly in the end is not as expected, you will surely feel disappointed. To avoid the things that are not desirable then make a black rule on white is a must.

6. Shared Responsibility Should Be Clear

 

Sometimes in the beginning of building our business will be demanded for multi tasking. But even so you and your partners must know the boundaries in doing their respective tasks so that they will not collide with each other. Make the division of responsibilities clear and transparent so that work can be completed as quickly as possible.

7. Accepting Criticism

 

To build a solid business requires humility. You and your partner must discard each other’s ego and accept each other’s input. If you do not create these conditions then your business will not move forward. Try to see from various angles, then you will realize that criticism is something that builds.

8. Has a Working Ethic

 

A strong work ethic is needed for companies to foster high morale. If your partner has it, then keep it! Discipline in work is a good role model for all employees, if you and your partner apply high discipline then believe your business will grow with a structured.

Finding a business partner is not an easy thing but if you have run these ways then, congratulations! because you have

It’s A Women’s World: The ‘Ladies’ Château’ of the Loire Valley

It’s A Women’s World: The ‘Ladies’ Château’ of the Loire Valley

A French barge cruise on one of European Waterways luxurious, fully-crewed barge hotels is an experience to remember. We firmly believe that there is no better way to explore the Continent than from the water.
The Nymphea hosts our French barge cruise in the Loire Valley, passing under the remarkable five-arch bridge of the Château de Chenonceau. Built in a pale grey stone, the bridge’s symmetrical curves are juxtaposed against the castle’s pointed turrets and enchant our guests time and time again

 

It’s not only architecture and engineering buffs who fall in love on the banks of the River Cher. The unique history of the Château – spanning from the early sixteenth century to the modern day – is well worth discovering.

Hidden Histories

Cruising beneath the repeated arches of the gallery aboard our French barge cruise, our guests often wonder who created them.

Today we are looking at some of the famous inhabitants of the ‘Ladies’ Château’ – the women who shaped both this beautiful building and France.

The Mistress: Diane de Poitiers

Intellectual, royal-favourite Diane de Poitiers lived in sixteenth-century France; no decorative wallflower, Diane was intelligent and politically savvy. She became so well-liked by King Henry II that she often wrote and signed official correspondence on his behalf using the portmanteau ‘HenriDiane’.

Diane was also the King’s mistress for over two decades – perhaps the most powerful woman in the country. As Henry’s mistress she was given the Château de Chenonceau. Diane not only lovingly developed the gardens, she commissioned the stunning arched bridge spanning the river – one of the most iconic architectural features of the Loire Valley.

The Wife: Catherine de’Medici

Catherine de’Medici was the wife of Henry II and, understandably, was jealous Diane’s influential position in Henry’s court. After Henry’s death Catherine forced Diane de Poitiers, the legal owner of the property, to leave and triumphantly took possession herself. Determined to make the Château her own, Catherine installed a grand gallery running across Diane’s bridge – the strong-willed widow had successfully displaced the trusted mistress.

Under Catherine’s management, the castle became the site for many extravagant parties and, rumour has it, the first ever firework display in France lit up the sky over one of her night time revels.

The Saloniste: Louise Dupin

During the French Enlightenment, eighteenth-century French women were at the centre of literary, artistic and cultural advancements. Louise Dupin, who lived in the Château de Chenonceau with her husband, formed a literary salon there which drew in leaders of the Enlightenment movement such as Voltaire, Condillac, Buffon and Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle.

An intelligent woman herself, Louise saved the building during the widespread destruction of property prompted by the Revolution. Louise pointed out that the arched bridge provided a rare crossing place on the river essential for the movement of people and trade. As a result of her quick thinking and bravery we can enjoy the splendour of the Château de Chenonceau in the twenty-first century.